Category: Press Release

Category: Press Release

Naedria Dyer – The Woman in Charge

GROWING up in Bull Savannah, St Elizabeth, Naedria Dyer’s goal was to become a teacher, but her life took an unexpected turn when she began her first job as a customer service representative at ARC Manufacturing Limited. The St Elizabeth native was determined to make her mark in the male-dominated field, which led to a career spanning roles in the commercial, credit and human resources arenas while in the big city.

Now the head of the company’s Montego Bay branch, Dyer’s journey to the top was no easy feat. She traded in her stilettos for steel-toed boots, and defied all odds to become a respected leader in the building materials industry.

Published by the Jamaica Observer.

ARC Strengthens its Commitment to the Environment

On the heels of World Environment Day, ARC Manufacturing Limited strengthened its commitment to the environment with a tree planting exercise at its Bell Road location. The initiative which was hosted under the theme ‘Plant a Tree for the Future,’ featured members of staff planting Durranta trees in line with its sustainable environmental business practices. 

Leading the charge, Managing Director Deanall Barnes explained that the company’s “adoption of green principles has benefitted all stakeholders.” 

“Sustainability has become a strategic and operational imperative at ARC and is a critical component in our quality management system. Not only has it impacted our livelihoods, but also the environment and surrounding communities in which we operate,” he stated.  

ARC also boasts one of the most modern Lumber Treatment facilities in the English-speaking Caribbean. This unique facility uses environmentally-friendly chemicals to preserve the life and dexterity of wood products, which reduces the effects of degradation caused by fungal decay.

The building materials company is on the verge of exploiting ways to enhance its conservation efforts and heighten its environmentally friendly culture.

ARC Tackles Violence Against Women

Due to increasing statistics of domestic violence across the globe, ARC Manufacturing Limited tackled the issue during the third instalment of its Power Lunch Series recently.

The event which was hosted via Zoom, featured Deputy Commissioner of Police (Ret’d) Novelette Grant delivering an impactful presentation on ‘Violence Against Women’.

During her presentation, Grant explored the effects of domestic violence on victims, businesses, and the economy as “it robs victims of their dignity and health, business continuity is affected through reduced productivity which negatively impacts the economy.”

There has been a global increase in domestic violence cases since the pandemic, so Grant urged her audience to use their power to challenge violence against women, advocate for change and gain the necessary knowledge to combat gender inequality, as it is a shared endeavour.

“Let us start to think about how we educate and train our boys in the ways of respect, empathy, and what it means to have healthy relationships and care for the dignity of those around,” she shared.

According to the General Manager of Corporate Affairs & Finance, Novlet Deans, the ISO 9001:2015 company exploits a number of programs that contribute to behavioural change and improved self-development.

“We try to connect our staff with the right resources to help them improve in every aspect of their lives. That, coupled with an environment where they can nurture their talents and assume fundamental roles within the organization, is what we believe will help to create more exemplary and effective leaders,” she stated.

ARC’s Power Lunch Series, is one of many initiatives that provide staff with opportunities for personal and professional enrichment, via key speakers from various sectors. The building materials company is expected to continue this trend as it looks to create an environment of equality and mutual respect, where women are represented in leadership roles and further career advancement opportunities for all its staff.

Published by Loop Jamaica.

ARC Rolls Out Power Lunch Series

ARC Manufacturing Limited recently kicked off its Power Lunch Series in conjunction with International Men’s Day, under the theme ‘Better health for men & boys.’

Acting Director of Emergency Medical Services (eMs) at the Ministry of Health and Wellness, Dr. Kurdell Espinosa-Campbell, came armed with solutions to combat common health conditions affecting men in Jamaica.

“Statistics show that men are most at-risk to die from stroke, diabetes, heart disease and prostate cancer, simply because they are afraid to visit the doctor. As a result, we have to take a multifactorial approach to educate and protect these valuable members of our society,” Dr. Espinosa-Campbell explained.

“So, I urge you to consult with a physician regularly because it is the only way to know if everything is working as it should, to ensure your mental and physical wellbeing.

The day’s proceedings also featured 17 tenured male employees being recognized for their significant contributions to the company’s growth and development.

ARC’s Power Lunch Series is geared towards the holistic development of its workforce, through impactful conversations with industry experts. Over the last three years, the building materials company has intensified its efforts to provide mentorship and training for staff through its collaborative learning approach.

According to General Manager of Corporate Affairs & Finance, Novlet Deans, these initiatives create a competent and confident workforce.

“Our lunch series will exploit opportunities that can accelerate individual growth to better equip our staff for successful integration into the wider society,” she stated.

“We anticipate that this will provide better outcomes for each employee while contributing to higher productivity and efficiency levels throughout our organization.”

The ISO 9001:2015 certified company believes that the development of its human resources can be maximized as a distinct competitive advantage and will continue to focus on developing its staff as a key strategic imperative.

Published by Loop Jamaica.

ARC Praises Team for their Outstanding Performance

Arc Manufacturing Limited recognized its group of sales representatives for their outstanding performance in sales and customer relations, at an intimate luncheon recently.

Despite the fallouts from COVID-19, its Montego Bay office copped the title for Most Improved Division. Sales Executive Nickeisha Horne topped the charts by achieving the Highest Dollar Value Sales and Highest Gross Profit Sales.

“We have an all hands on deck approach, so each division is integrally involved in what we do. We hold ourselves to a high standard of service, therefore, from start to finish, we are there at every step of the way for our customers,” she asserted while reliving a day in the life of a sales representative.

In her guest presentation, Dr. Terri-Karelle Reid expressed, “it is commendable that even during a pandemic, you stayed true to your customers because your excellence is unconditional.”

Sales Executive Nickeisha Horne (left) flashed a radiant smile as she accepts her token from guest speaker Dr. Terri-Karelle Reid (right).

Chairman Norman Horne noted that the company maintains its competitive edge by providing a superb customer experience through constant innovation, its extensive line of products, and superior delivery service islandwide.

Arc is a manufacturer of common wire nails and the sole manufacturer of binding wire in Jamaica. Its primary location is 14 Bell Road, which houses the corporate offices, warehouses, distribution hub, and manufacturing plants.

The company also operates a sales office, warehouse, and distribution outlet in Ironshore, Montego Bay.

Published by Loop Jamaica.

ARC Hails 22 of its Machine Operators

ARC Manufacturing Limited recognized 22 of the company’s technical employees who were certified as machine operators under the HEART Trust National Service Training Agency (HEART TRUST NSTA) Workforce Certification Programme, after completing over 126 hours of training and assessments.

Rian Forbes, one of the 22 certified employees, said, “I am always open to opportunities where I can grow and influence my peers, so I am happy I got the chance to participate in the programme. As challenging as it was, it was worth it”.

During his address to the honourees, acting director of business development and workforce solutions at the HEART Trust NSTA, Marlon Johnson highlighted the significance of their certification, before encouraging the group to continue with their educational pursuits and upward mobility.

“The certificate you hold separates you from the average individual, so be proud of yourselves. You can go anywhere in the world to show that you are trained and certified as machine operators. Your certificate is yours for life because you put in the work, and no one can take that from you,” Johnson said.

The company noted that over the years, it has partnered with the HEART Trust to train its employees in various disciplines, such as customer service, forklift operating, and machine operating. The company said it plans to continue partnerships into the future.

ARC Manufacturing is a leading manufacturer and distributor of building materials in Jamaica. They employ over 250 individuals.

Published by the Jamaica Observer.

ARC Manufacturing Nails Down Expansion Plan

ARC Manufacturing to transform Ferry Pen into manufacturing and distribution hub; Manufacturing plants to cover 18 acres of land

Construction and building supplies manufacturer, ARC Manufacturing has outlined an ambitious plan to develop the Ferry Pen area, which encompasses its Bell Road, Kingston 11 base, into a massive manufacturing and distribution hub.

Ferry Pen is located in the Three Miles area and is adjacent to Spanish Town Road on the left heading from Kingston. ARC Manufacturing chairman, Norman Horne, who made the announcement in an exclusive interview with the Caribbean Business Report, disclosed that the current Bell Road head office will be converted into a 100 per cent manufacturing facility.

The manufacturing facility will cover the entire 18 acres of land, which includes the former KIW warehouse, which ARC acquired from the Government some years ago and is currently being used for its lumber depot and warehousing facility. The acquisition of the warehouse property has allowed ARC to continue operating from that location which spreads towards its headquarters on Bell Road in Kingston.

“We have some other factories that we intend to bring on board at this facility,” Horne divulged. ARC Manufacturing, which is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of premium-quality building materials in Jamaica, operates a series of plants on Bell Road, which stretches several football fields in length and width towards Spanish Town Road.

Two years ago ARC expanded to set up two additional plants that manufacture roofs and chain fencing. When quizzed about the plan, the ARC chairman explained that the development has been in the works for some time but the plans have had to be pushed back due to COVID-19, which has caused things to slow down a bit.

Horne was quick to add, “As soon as COVID-19 is over us, we plan to get back on track.”


He emphasised that the overall plan for the manufacturing and distribution hub in the Ferry Pen area will make the company and its manufactured products more competitive. According to Horne, “We believe that we can produce a number of products competitively in Jamaica, not just for the local market but also for the export market.”

The ARC Manufacturing chairman declared, “I am encouraging the Government to pay more keen attention, in not necessarily protecting the domestic market but also increasing the competitiveness of local manufacturers so that local products will have a greater reach in the domestic market.”

Last week ARC Manufacturing won the support of US Ambassador to Jamaica Donald Tapia, who committed to assist the company with finding markets in America for its products. The US ambassador made the announcement during an interview with the Jamaica Observer following a tour of the company’s 14 Bell Road, Kingston 11, plant last week Thursday.

ARC Manufacturing produces a range of products and services including wire and steel products, chain-link fencing, aluminum-steel roofing tiles and more. The 18-acre plant features seven factories, including a state-of-the-art lumber treatment plant.

Published by the Jamaica Observer.

US Ambassador Promises to Help ARC with Finding Markets in the US

Building supplies manufacturer and distributor ARC Manufacturing has won the support of US Ambassador to Jamaica Donald Tapia who has committed to assisting the company with identifying markets in America for its products.

The US ambassador made the announcement following an interview with the Jamaica Observer’s Sunday Finance following a tour of the company’s 14 Bell Road, Kingston 11, plant on Thursday. ARC Manufacturing is one of the leading manufacturers and distributors of premium-quality building materials in Jamaica.

Its range of products and services include wire and steel products, chain-link fencing, aluminum-steel roofing tiles and more. The 18-acre plant features seven factories, including a state-of-the-art lumber treatment plant.

The courtesy call by the US ambassador was driven by his desire to see how manufacturing companies in Jamaica are weathering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ambassador Tapia told Sunday Finance that he is impressed with ARC’s operations.


He emphasised that despite the challenges faced by the company with COVID-19, “the future looks bright, and I think that together we might be able to open up some markets in the US that he [Norman Horne, ARC’s chairman] has not been into”. Ambassador Tapia made the point that COVID-19 is a problem for all countries, especially their manufacturing sector.

“What I am looking forward to is talking to Mr. Horne on what we can do to help exporting. We need to raise the export into the US or the export of Jamaican products into the US,” the US ambassador explained. Tapia also promised to assist ARC to get an audience with industry players “and put something together so he [Horne] can start exporting products that he is actually manufacturing here.”


Turning to the issue of staff retrenchment given the impact of COVID-19, Ambassador Tapia heaped praises on ARC for keeping staff levels constant in spite of the fall-off in business as a result of COVID-19. “The thing that impresses me is during COVID-19 that he [Horne] is doing everything possible to maintain the number of employees that he has…that’s huge for somebody to step forward and try to maintain every employee.”

Horne, who led the tour, told Sunday Finance that they both would be having extensive discussions about COVID-19 and its impact on the business.

Published by the Jamaica Observer.

Norman Horne Explores Lockdown in Light of COVID-19

It is in times like these that Governments are put to the test. It is in times like these that Governments must take and implement extraordinary policy decisions and programmes to fast-track and realign the country on the road to development. The impact and implications of this COVID-19 are both seen and unseen and thus drastic times must call for drastic yet carefully balanced measures.

The hard truth

If we are one day past April 15, 2020, and the parishes of Kingston and St Andrew and the other 12 parishes are still under quarantine, having not joined St Catherine in “lockdown”, then Jamaica is seemingly on a pothole-riddled back road to COVID-19 recovery.

It is not a moot point that the human capital hub, now COVID-19 hotbed of Portmore is inextricably linked with both Kingston & St Andrew and Clarendon. As articulated by an employee: “Most of us who live in Portmore work and do everything else in Kingston. During the week we only sleep in Portmore.” Furthermore, the April 15, 2020 migration of persons from Portmore to Kingston & St Andrew buttresses the fact that not one of those three parishes can be divorced from the others. Furthermore, no parish within Jamaica’s 10,992 km2 is an island by itself. This is affirmed by the web of illness that COVID-19 is slowly weaving throughout our island and that which it has woven throughout the superpower states of the world.

The hard truth is that for the quickest socio-economic recovery, Jamaica would be better off sacrificing two weeks today as opposed to an indefinite period mere days after tomorrow. If we wait any longer to implement stringent social-distancing requirements, our best intentions may garner the worst results.

The misery index

We are a small country of approximately three million people. Population size will either be our fortune or prove fatal depending on the effectiveness of our national approach to COVID-19. The more the virus spreads and the longer the state of quarantine or lockdown lasts, then the greater the impact will be on the economy. We are all financially losing and will all continue to lose until COVID is cauterized.

The status quo today and in the short term for the average Jamaican indicates that the misery index is rising and may rise to epic proportions:

(1) Many Jamaicans are consuming, but not earning;

(2) Many Jamaicans have, or will exhaust all savings;

(3) Jamaicans with credit cards and great financial demands and responsibilities will max those cards out; and

(4) As a last resort, many Jamaicans have or will turn to borrowing at high exchange rates with the inability to repay in the short term.


The harsh realities that accompany the consumer burdened misery index will also have a severe impact upon the macroeconomy as follows:

(1) reduction in GDP;

(2) devaluation of the Jamaican dollar; and

(3) increase in inflation.

Presently, we are at risk of completely wiping out our micro, small and medium enterprises to include taxis, barbers, chefs, hairdressers, and small farmers who are all currently operating at a loss. Aside from the food industry and pharmaceuticals, many of us will not be able to survive a protracted collapse of the domestic economy.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has diagnosed that this “Great Lockdown” will be the “worst economic downturn since the Great Depression”. The IMF advises that, “The magnitude and speed of collapse in activity that has followed is unlike anything experienced in our lifetime.”

Acknowledging the variable factors and the uncertainty in the projections regarding the reopening of the global economy, the IMF has already had requests for emergency financing from more than 90 countries to date. The IMF has committed US$1 trillion in lending for countries economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Though previously confident that our net international reserves of over US$3 billion would have been able to cushion the COVID-19 blow, our minister of finance has done the right thing by turning back to the IMF for much-needed financial support. However, with the sudden and premature closure of the compassionate grant programme, it is now incumbent upon the Government to provide the citizenry with firm assurance that there is not only a safety net, but also an implementation plan in place to provide adequate social security for the protection of the poorest and most vulnerable. The Government has likely not forgotten: “If it takes cash to care, it also takes caring to achieve even in the face of penury” (Edward Seaga).

Immediately: BPO lockdown

The numbers speak for themselves without need for further comment. It is said that the call centre is now the national epicentre of COVID-19, and the most prevalent view is that the longer the call centres are open the more rampant the spread of COVID-19 will be islandwide. With the best of economic intentions, it is better to sacrifice two weeks now as opposed to 12 months later. The safeguarding of the lives of the Jamaican people should always be our primary focus. We can restart the economy, but we cannot revive those who we have lost to COVID-19. Unlike the tourism industry, which has succumbed to COVID’s economic demise, the Business Process Outsource (BPO) industry like most others would not be at a complete standstill but would pause to allow for the eradication of COVID-19 as opposed to its further spread.

The Jamaican people are starting to question whether or not there is a motive for keeping the BPO sector fully operational during this time. The argument is that one COVID-19 case merited the lockdown of Bull Bay. A few COVID-19 cases merited the lockdown of Cornpiece. However, scores of COVID-19 cases have not merited the closure of the BPO sector. Only the Government can speak to this.

Next 30 days: Private and increased testing

To date, and with some success, the country’s approach has been tracing, tracking, isolation and testing. However, based on the increased COVID-19 numbers, we must take a more robust approach to identify all persons who have contracted the virus and place them all in isolation. Almost all of the countries with the greatest COVID-19 combat success were not only early into lockdown but also began robust testing at the beginning of the spread. It is clear that our rate and methodology of testing is not only slow, but is also not widespread enough.

The organisational skills which are utilised heavily by politicians to garner votes and win elections should be put aggressively to use to combat COVID-19. For example, to increase testing, strategically placed polling stations could be converted to testing stations. This would not only make testing more accessible and encourage voluntary testing for symptomatic citizens, but it would also give the Government a more precise geographic picture of the infected and uninfected communities.

We have learned from the dengue experience that in the tracking of viral outbreaks, the Government cannot do it alone. For example, in June 2019 the country was told categorically that there was no dengue outbreak. However, by October 2019, it was reported that there had been 88 dengue-related deaths, almost doubling the deaths related to the disease in the preceding year. The Government in leading the COVID-19 battle seems to wish to have centralised testing and centralised testing only. This was the same approach taken with dengue decades ago. Nevertheless, it was soon discovered that private testing only strengthened the Government’s initiative to diagnose, test, cure, and accurately report.

Rapid test kits are available on the international market. The Government should therefore approve the private import of said tests and encourage private doctors who are so willing to procure rapid test kits, test, and report the results as happens today with dengue.

Compassionate policy appeal

There is a view that more humanity and compassion is needed by the citizenry as we combat covid-19. Expectations of Government intervention are extremely high and in the field of agriculture and basic services, particularly electricity there have been conversations which call for a compassionate policy appeal to be made on behalf of the Jamaican people:

(1) Electricity Disconnection: Many consumers who are unable to earn are concerned that their electricity either has or will be disconnected due to non-payment. This may well become a reality for many of us. It would be prudent for the Government to make an appeal to the Jamaica Public Service in an attempt to negotiate payment plans and an extension of service for those who will or may be struggling to pay their electricity bills. We do not wish those who have no earnings to be left in the dark indefinitely.

(2) Agriculture: The disastrous impact that COVID-19 has had on the agricultural sector has been highly publicised and the Government has made a marked effort to intervene. However, a blueprint plan should be shared with the public since the public will have to participate in these efforts by consuming the excess produce as opposed to disposing same. It would be savvy if the Government identified all cold storage points throughout the island, identified all areas where there would likely be real demand and supply and thereafter route supply to demand in an organised and consumer friendly fashion.

We are in this together

With no section of society unscathed, COVID-19 is an indiscriminate virus that suffers no fools. We are all in this together. It is therefore our patriotic duty to educate, participate in the discourse, and be a part of solutions on the road to COVID-19 recovery.

It is time to lock down all 14 parishes for at least two weeks and clean the country of COVID-19. This is not a time to wait and play catch-up. Perhaps Murphy’s Law, “If it can happen, it will,” may be a guiding principle for how we should proceed. For a brighter tomorrow, we must sacrifice today.

Norman Horne CD, JP, is Executive Chairman of ARC Manufacturing Limited

Published by the Jamaica Observer.

The multidimensional effects of COVID-19

In the field of disasters, COVID-19 is unique as its unrelenting disastrous effects simultaneously undermine the health and economic sectors of a country in a reasonably short time. The fact that its variables are for the most part unknown makes it dangerous and makes planning unsure.

Consequently, to avoid placing those two sectors in a comatose state, the response has to be twofold and in unison. This requires a fine balancing act.

As the Government grapples with trying to get it right, the manufacturing and distribution sector also has a similar challenge. Any success will depend not only on strategic, grave economic decisions but also on the existing health of the manufacturing companies. A company undergirded by good corporate governance practices and a vigorous risk management portfolio may better find the flexibility and agility required. Therefore, one positive outcome of this crisis could be the testing of each company so that lessons can be learned and ultimately our companies and the manufacturing sector can be stronger.

COVID-19 has already created a cultural business shift by invoking higher levels of creativity in response to having to function within a new abnormal. For example, as a result of the new social distancing behaviour, companies have now instituted work from home and flexi-work which was not welcomed with open arms generally but is now fully embraced by all.

Unfortunately, the only part of manufacturing and distribution that can be done from home is administration.

Operations are now between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. We have had to adjust working hours and re-engineer the workplace to maintain social distancing. This has required the relocating of machinery and equipment. Also, deliveries have been rescheduled within the newly gazetted time, which has led to new overnighting arrangements for truck drivers.

Though COVID-19 has engendered a culture of fear, interestingly, it has also reinforced discipline in the workplace as employees are now seeing the important link between discipline, safety and production through a new lens.

We are all wearing masks and it is my view that everyone should wear a mask to stop the spread of COVID, be it paper, cloth, surgical or even a handkerchief because this is the best defence against the spread.

A drastic reduction in world oil prices has resulted in a substantial reduction in Jamaica’s oil bill. This will mean more foreign exchange than budgeted for the country and will further stabilise the Jamaican dollar.

Jamaica should now prudently maintain the same amount of resources budgeted for oil purchase and use the surplus to forward buy. This would provide greater levels of economic stability over the COVID-recovery period by taming inflation and by reducing the cost of production, transportation, and electricity.

There are some favourable conditions now. For example, some commodities, like steel, have a greater supply than demand resulting in a lowering of prices.

In relation to shipping, more cargo ships are available and the shipping rates are therefore lower owing to oil price reduction. This is good for the distributive trade.

However, with perishable commodities like timber, the reverse is true with an increase in prices.

Overall, it is suggested that imported goods will be in short supply. However, in the world post-COVID-19 it is difficult to project market pricing. We could easily see the markup or conversely the plummeting of the prices of building materials, commodities and manufactured goods as happened in the 2008 world financial crisis.

With the advent of COVID-19, the initial reaction of investors was to take profits, thereby creating a dramatic depreciation in the world stock market. As it intensified, investors not only took profit but converted their investments to cash or near-cash investments. This has caused the mass devaluation of the stock markets resulting in the loss of trillions of capital.

Equally, the Jamaican stock market has suffered devaluation and capital erosion, thereby affecting all business sectors, including manufacturing.

Until the world turns the page, production is back in gear and companies start to enjoy earnings and investor confidence, this bear market will remain the status quo.

Commercial life has taught the seasoned businessman that for every debit, the offsetting entry is always a credit. Home can now be described as a multipurpose facility, thereby creating a fertile environment for family-oriented activities, especially since COVID-19 has highlighted the fragility of life.

Family bonding and the imparting of good social and spiritual values are now at a premium. Proper scheduling and time management with a double focus on work and family should pay great dividends in both work and family life.

The integrity of a healthy microcosm, be it in government, business, community or family, has been shown by COVID-19 to be of paramount importance. One takeaway is that to be able to withstand any shocks in a resilient way, one must have made good, solid decisions while building the foundation of that microcosm.

As a people, therefore, we must use the distilled wisdom of the past as evidenced by the actions of our forefathers coupled with present-day best practices in every area. We must now, more than ever, remain glued together, strongly anchored by the resilience of our people.

We shall overcome.

Norman Horne is Executive Chairman of ARC Manufacturing Ltd.

Published by The Jamaica Observer